Saturday, July 28, 2007

it ain't gettng easier ...

When I started on this bold adventure six months ago (thinking I would give it a crack for four weeks), I thought it would be hard. And it wasn't - for a while. I think that was when I thought that there was an end in sight.

Since those few glory weeks I have had a few angst ridden stuff-lust attacks, I have teetered on the brink of temptation, and I have slipped a couple of times. And I have made a few
(very few) considered purchasing decisions. And I have taken a long, hard look at myself and had to admit that I - having never thought of myself as much of a shopper or as being overly-acquisitive - am (was) in fact a signifcant consumer.

I thought that as I went along it would be easier. But it ain't. What is surprising me is the need to be constantly vigilant - and how scarily easy it would be just to slip back into old ways of thinking/behaving/purchasing. It shouldn't be a surprise at all - here we are swimming against the tide in a consumer frenzied society, constantly bombarded with billions of dollars of advertising and struggling against years of social conditioning.

This gig is a commitment - not only of action but of thought. Both need to be constant.

Friday, July 27, 2007

on the nose?

In the spirit of non consuming I have been using one of those rock crystal deodorants for a few weeks. Luckily it was found lurking in the back of the bathroom cupboard, so I didn't have to buy one.

But now the question is: does it work? I am beginning to have my doubts. It does not stop sweating, which is a good thing as far as I can tell, given that is what bodies are meant to do. The issue is whether it stops the whiff factor - this is always very hard to deduce oneself, and it is not the sort of thing I would ask a casual acquaintance - and am not sure if I want to ask my friends.

And I KNOW I won't get a straight answer out of the object of my affections - he likes to play with my mind with these sorts of things.

I am not feeling bold in deodorant world - am thinking I may have to go back to more conventional means of keeping on the side of social acceptability. Any suggestions?

Friday, July 20, 2007

a domestic crisis of significant proportions

I regret to say I have been having a domestic crisis, having discovered some sort of wildlife (small mite-type bugs) in my wardrobe. I have hauled out every item from the wardrobe and am having to wash or dryclean all of the clothes - and I mean ALL of the clothes (the bugs are only visible on a few, but ...). Horrible. Tedious. Time consuming and all round vexing.

I realise that my bad habits are coming back to haunt me. I have not cleared out my wardrobe for a very long time - despite good intentions it was just too much of a chore and a bore. So now there is a large number of clothes to be dealt with. And I can't even give stuff away until it is cleaned. What a pain.

This is not joyous in the heart of winter in Melbourne where it seems to be raining unnaturally frequently. And consequently the washing machine has been getting a good workout, as has the dryer (although I have been drying as much as I can on the rack over the heating vent or outside). Have been trying to do the right thing and now I am hogging water and power like there is no tomorrow. And using insect spray. Great!

Not happy at all, but can't help but think I have been the author of my own misfortune. Which does of course make it all the more irritating.

And am now having to ask myself searching questions like: How many pashminas does one woman need? Answer: Not nearly as many as I have.

So, a disagreeable lesson has been learnt and Operation Wardrobe continues. Any advice will be favourably received.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

when is it time to say goodbye?

I am beginning to accept that a parting of the ways is inevitable for me and my trusty boots. After having worn them religiously for 18 months or so, they are starting to give up the ghost. I got them re-heeled a couple of months ago and was very pleased with that. Now I am getting part of the soles replaced. And I know that in a couple of months time something else will have worn out.

When do I decide that enough is enough and let them go gracefully to boot heaven? Or do I keep on trying to patch them together, only managing to extend their life an extra few months at a time?

Feels a bit like deciding to have a trusty old pet put down (all right, that is a gross exaggeration, but you get the picture).

In the meantime I have bought some more time.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

hope in a jar?

In my recent efforts to use up the contents of the bathroom cupboard, I have been using an expensive(ish) moisturiser.
Issue 1 was the fact that I didn't realise it was there.
Issue 2 was it had cost in the vicinity of $50 - expensive in my books.
Issue 3 was the promises about how much younger and more fabulous it would make me look ...

Well, I used the jar up. Outrageously it didn't last four weeks - and guess what? I look exactly the same. Well, maybe four weeks older.

What was I thinking? When I bought it, did I honestly think it would make the slightest bit of difference? Probably not - well certainly no more than any other moisturiser - cheaper or more expensive. And given that I believed then, as I do now, that what you put on the inside of your body is more important that what you slap on the outside, well - I do have to wonder.

I think I was consciously deluded - which has got to be more reprehensible than being generally deluded because I knew I was being suckered. I knew it was a load of bull and yet I fell for it anyway.

It ain't always easy, that's for sure.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Pressure cooking

Is pressure cooking the answer? In my efforts to improve the quality of my diet and move towards a healthier lifestyle, I have been eating and cooking more beans and pulses. But beans take a mighty long time to cook, and then there is the soaking - a time consuming process. So beans, when I cook them, tend to be canned. Not ideal. Thank goodness for lentils I say. But that aside, I have had a flash of brilliance - a pressure cooker is obviously the answer! Food cooks a lot quicker - you use less gas/electricity - and because no steam comes out (and so they say, very little cooking smells) there may be no need for the extractor fan. Reduced energy use all round, faster and better food.

Apparently pressure cookers have been reinvented - most of the new ones don't have weights on them and apparently they don't explode all over the ceiling anymore. Taken the fun out of it really.

Anyway, I am thinking of buying one. And it will be new. This is not the sort of thing I would like to buy second hand, because they need to be in very good condition to work well. But on the plus side the ones I am looking at are apparently very high quality with a long guarantee.

But then again, I am minimising the purchase of new goods. Which way do the scales tip?

Sunday, July 1, 2007

the plastic bag issue

Like most of us, I have been conscious of the plastic bag issue for a long time now, and try never to go shopping without a number of green bags. All good. Until I realised that I was still putting fruit and vegetables into the plastic bags that go into the green bag ... Doh! So I stopped, and they now all roll around in the shopping basket until I get to the checkout. (I would like to say this was at the very beginning of my compacting journey, just in case you are thinking I am a complete dunce!)

This morning I was thinking about this, and it occurred to me that the main reason all the shops have those rolls of plastic bags for us to put our fruit and veg in is because it makes it quicker for them to process produce through the till.

Yes, there is some convenience to the customer, and it makes it a bit hard if you are buying small items (beans etc) without a bag to put them in. But the main benefit is for the supermarket.

Well, if it takes an extra minute for them to add up my bill, then so be it. We will all have to live it.